SAD NEWS...Frank Devlyn is no more
- 2000-01 RI president
A message from his beloved family :
Hello everyone, I am Melanie Devlyn, heartbroken and on behalf of
our family we inform you that my dear Dad, his great friend Frank,
died today of pancreatic cancer that was discovered a few weeks
ago but that he never wanted divulge.
I know how many everyone wanted it, but due to the situation of
COVID we are going to have a family service and later when the situation
allows it we will make a nice tribute so that all of us who wanted
it can be together.
Gloria Rita, Melanie, Stephanie and Jennifer Devlyn
In the world of Rotary, Frank Devlyn is recognized as being one
of the most sought – out speakers, constantly in demand for
Rotary conferences and events.
His background gives good reason why he is considered by so many
to be such a unique, successful leader. Raised on the border between
Mexico and the United States, Frank proudly describes himself as
bicultural. “As a youngster and student, I spent time in both
countries every day”, he says “Home was in Juarez, Mexico,
where my mother´s family came from, and I went to school in
El Paso, Texas. I was immersed equally in both cultures every day
of my life”
Frank´s father, Frank Devlyn Sr., a World War I veteran of
Irish descent, came from a small town near Chicago, Illinois.
Frank Sr., was an optometrist, as is Frank´s mother, Nelva.
After they married, they moved to Nelva´s northern México
hometown of Juarez, the country´s largest border city, and
opened a small optical shop. Frank grew up in the family business
and worked in the store every day after school.
When Frank was 22 his father died. By that time, the Devlyn’s
had opened their seventh optical shop. Frank then had
to lead the family business with the help of his mother and two
younger brothers. In both hard times and good, the Devlyn chain
of optical stores has continued to expand. Today the Devlyn Optical
Group of which he is the C.E.O. has more than 700 stores and is
the largest retail optical company in Latin America, with branches
in México, Guatemala and El Salvador.
As testament to this prodigious networking ability, Frank has sat
and continues to sit on the boards of numerous national and international
groups. He is frequently asked to serve in a public
capacity and it is not uncommon to see Frank being interviewed by
the media, Mexican government, or by organizations representing
both N.G.O.’s and private enterprise seeking his advice worldwide.
Frank describes joining Rotary in 1970 as “a turning point
in my life” and he brought to Rotary the same energy, determination
and forward thinking that were hallmarks of his business career.
His blueprint for Rotary in his 2000-01 presidential year was characteristically
ambitious. To help Rotarians accomplish his goals and give meaning
and life to the theme of Create Awareness – Take action
Frank & Gloria Rita, his wife of 43 years, have three daughters,
Melanie, Stephanie and Jennifer. Nine grandchildren: Alexia, Luis,
Carlos, Jennifer, Pablo, Michelle, and triplets Elena, Viviana and
Luis. Gloria Rita has been Frank´s partner in
Rotary as in life, joining him at Rotary functions at all levels.
She was made an honorary Rotarian by Frank´s México
Frank is a true Rotarian Family with his 91 year old mother Nelva
being a honorary Rotarian. His Brother Jesse and his
wife are well known Past District Governors , his brother Pat is
a Past President of the Mexico City R.C. and recognized motivational
speaker, brother Gordon is a Rotarian in Elk Grove, IL as is his
brother- in- law Mario in El Paso, Tx.
• Educated in El Paso, Texas, and México City. University
of Texas at El Paso and the I.P.A.D.E. Business School in Mexico
• Graduate of the School of Optometry of the Mexican Association
• Presented a honorary doctorate in business administration
by the prestigious Hanyang Univ. of Korea in 2005.
Past President of the:
• Optometrist and Opticians Association of Mexico
• Optical Manufacturers Section of the National Chamber of
Industries of Mexico.
• Hearing Aid Distributors Association of Mexico
• Toastmasters Club of México City
• And of the National Contact Lens Manufacturing Association
• Past member of the board of Goodwill Industries International.
• Past Member of the board of directors of the Mexican Red
• Past Advisory Board member of The Wheelchair Foundation.
• Past Board Member of Heartbeat International-
• Past Board Member of the Order of Malta in México.
• Past Board Member of Mexico’s Civic Group
• Past President of México´s Neighborhood Watch
Program sponsored by Rotary clubs, and a broad group of organizations.
• Named honorary citizen in numerous cities worldwide where
he has represented Rotary.
• Founding editor and director of the Rotary regional magazine,
Rotarismo en México.
• Governor of District 4170 in 1977-78.
• R.I. Director in 1986-88.
• President of Rotary International for 2000-2001.
• Trustee of the Rotary Foundation of R.I. for 1996 /98 and
2002-2005 & Chairman in 2005 / 06
• Chairman, Avoidable Blindness Task Force, 2001-2003.
• Avoidable Blindness Advisor for R.I´s Health Concerns
Task Force 2003-2004.
• Chairman of the Future Vision Committee of the Rotary Foundation
in 2006 / 07
• Recipient of The Rotary Foundation´s Distinguished
Service Award and its Citation for Meritorious Service for his support
of its international humanitarian and educational programs.
• Member of the Paul Harris Society, Bequest Society and the
Arch Klumph Society of The Rotary Foundation.
• Awarded the Medal of Honor of the México City Chamber
of Commerce by Vicente Fox, Pres of México in 2001.
• Named to the Mexican Hall of Entrepreneurs in 2009 by the
Impulsa Group of Mexico.
Before he left us, he was serving as:
• Regional board member of a leading Mexican bank, Banamex
• Board Member of Funsalud – Mexico’s leading
• Treasurer of the Tuberculosis and Lung Association of Mexico.
• Board Member of Mexico´s “CEMEFI” (The
Mexican Philanthropic Center) which unites Mexico’s most reputable
• Treasurer of the Women’s Perinatal Hospital in Mexico
City. The largest in Mexico helping the poor.
• Board Member of The General Hospital in Mexico City. The
largest hospital helping the poor.
• Board Member of the Juarez Hospital in Mexico City. The
2nd largest hospital helping the poor.
• Board Member of “A Favor de Lo Mejor” which
monitors Better Television and Media.
• Board Member of the prestigious University Club of Mexico
• Honorary Consul of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the
country of Mexico
• President of ANDECO, the association that brings together
all the accredited Honorary Consuls in Mexico from all countries.
• Co-Author with David Forward for a Series of Frank Talk
Books which are Rotary Best Sellers.